Ultra-Broadband Forum 2021 discusses strategies to Extend Connectivity, Drive Growth

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At the 7th Ultra-Broadband Forum (UBBF 2021) held in Dubai, Ryan Ding, Executive Director of the Board, President of the Carrier BG, Huawei, said connectivity is more than just an expansion of functions; more importantly, it is an emotional bond.

“More than 170 years ago, the world’s first submarine cable was laid, sending the first communication signal across the ocean. This was a huge step forward for humanity. About 20 years ago, connection speeds exceeded 32 Kbps, and video began to surpass text as the major form of traffic, allowing us to communicate like never before. When the pandemic hit the world in 2020, connectivity once again reshaped how we live and work. Our social networking, entertainment, work and education are no longer restricted by time and space.” Ryan said while addressing the keynote titled “Extend Connectivity, Drive Growth”

Peng Song, president of Global Carrier Marketing and Solution Sales at Huawei, introduced the ‘C.A.F’ model that helps operators accelerate the digitization of industries, maximize the value of connectivity, and achieve new growth.

C.A.F, as defined by Huawei, stands for Coverage, Architecture and Fusion.

The Coverage aspect of the C.A.F explores how operators can extend connectivity to homes and enterprises to meet new demands and achieve business value. For home scenarios, Huawei offers full-service fiber grid planning and AirPON and Digital QuickODN solutions that accelerate fiber coverage and extend fiber to homes. Huawei also offers FTTH (Fiber to the Home) to FTTR (Fiber to the Room) solution, further extending fiber to rooms for home networking.

In enterprise scenarios, private lines need to provide differentiated offerings to stay competitive, Peng said. “More importantly, connectivity needs to be extended inside enterprises from CT to OT. In this way, many problems faced by enterprises can be solved like the remote PLC control in Iron & Steel companies. This will result in enhanced production efficiency and user experience,” he added.

The Fusion aspect of C.A.F focuses on how future-oriented connectivity can converge with cloud and enable digitalization. There are two phases in Fusion, according to Peng.

The first phase of Fusion ensures that connectivity becomes cloud-centric. It involves deploying the intelligent cloud terminal on the enterprise side to attain fast cloud access and achieving the multi-cloud interconnection with enablement of SRv6 in the backbone networks to implement multi-cloud access through a single connection. It also involves providing network slicing capabilities to ensure deterministic service experience.

In the second phase, connectivity should converge with cloud, and build an ecosystem. This is the most challenging part, but also the most valuable part, Peng added. It requires atomization and openness of the network capabilities to implement network selecting cloud, and cloud scheduling network.

The Architecture aspect of the C.A.F explores the characteristics of network architecture required to achieve present and future business success. To facilitate network evolution, operators need to adopt the spine-leaf mode to make the network architecture more flexible. Technologies such as PON and OXC are designed to make network services greener. Autonomous Driving Network needs to be introduced to optimize the Opex in terms of O&M. Huawei’s new technologies such as OXC, SRv6, and ADN have also strengthened the architecture, Peng said.

At the UBBF 2021, Saeed Al Zarooni, Network SVP Etisalat UAE said more than 98 percent of the country’s population has already been covered by FTTH connectivity. Under the National Broadband mission, with FTTH as the pillar and 5G at the backhaul, UAE aims to cover the remaining 2 percent in the near future, regardless of the geographical nature of the place – be it sea, mines or desert. Already UAE has covered 90 percent of the population through 5G.

Etiasalat has achieved 90 percent digitization of its networks so far. By continuing the investments in futuristic intelligent technologies, the operator aims to achieve fully digitized zero touch network in the coming months.

Ricardo Varzielas, CFO of MTN GlobalConnect, said Africa is at the verge of doubling its population in the next 30 years. The young majority of the population opens a huge demographic opportunity for the operator, and MTN is committed to bring as many as on board in the coming years.

Bocar A. BA, CEO of SAMENA Telecommunications Council, said fixed fiber and IPv6 based networks are a necessary investment for telcos. Ultra-broadband fiber networks, which is built on IPv6 and powered by intelligent cloud platforms, are the enabler of sustainable future communications networks that help the societies flourish.

Ultra-broadband is not just about ensuring high-speed low-latency networks but is also about integration of intelligence and enablement of 5G transport network with Internet of Things (IoT), data center interconnect, enterprise cloud applications and virtual reality and more. More importantly it is also about reducing energy consumption to the least, Bocar added.


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